Domenico Gerosolimitano

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DOMENICO GEROSOLIMITANO (c. 1552–1621 or later), apostate and censor of Hebrew books. Born in Jerusalem, Domenico, whose Jewish name is unknown, received a talmudic and kabbalistic education at Safed and also studied mathematics and medicine. At first he was active as a rabbi, then practiced medicine in Cairo, and later became physician to the sultan in Constantinople. In 1593 he converted to Christianity and served the Inquisition as censor of Hebrew books first at Mantua and nearby towns, then at Monferrato, Milan, and Rome. In Rome Domenico became a member of the Collegio dei Neofiti, where he taught Hebrew in addition to his work as a censor. Parts of his Hebrew autobiography were published by Guidi (Festschrift… A. Berliner, 176ff.) and by G. Sacerdote. Domenico's writings, mostly in manuscript form, include an "Index Expurgatorius," the Sefer ha-Zikkuk, which lists all passages in Hebrew literature to which the Inquisition objected; a translation into Hebrew of the New Testament and the Apocrypha; and anti-Jewish, pro-Christian sermons in Italian.


G. Bartolocci, Bibliotheca magna rabbinica, 2 (1678), 281–3; P.S. Medici, Catalogo de' neofiti illustri… (Florence, 1701), 13–15; Wolf, Bibliotheca, 3 (1727), 210; G. Sacerdote, in: rej, 30 (1895), 257–83; W. Popper, Censorship of Hebrew Books (1899), index, s.v.Sefer ha-Zikkuk; I. Guidi, in: Festchrift… A. Berliner (1903), 176–9; N. Porges, ibid., 273–95; I. Sonne, Expurgation of Hebrew Books (1943), 9–11.

[Alfredo Mordechai Rabello]

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Domenico Gerosolimitano

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